Well-known contester and DXpeditioner William “Bill” Vanderheide, N7OU (ex-AA7KF), of Portland, Oregon, died December 31 after a lenthy illness. He was 70. A member of the ARRL and the Willamette Valley DX Club, he had operated from a dozen islands in the South Pacific as well as from several in the Caribbean, often combining Amateur Radio with service in the Global Volunteers organization, helping out in local classrooms. Licensed in Michigan at 13, Vanderheide was an avid CW operator, a regular and high-scoring participant in ARRL November Sweepstakes, Field Day and other operating events — always running QRP or low power with wire antennas, said his friend Bob Norin, W7YAQ, who called him “an outstanding contester, DXpeditioner, and ambassador” for Amateur Radio.
“Bill was a keen practitioner of the lightweight DXpedition, Norin said. Vanderheide documented his DXpeditions in articles for QST — including “Return to Rotuma” in the October 2013 edition, and “High Tide on Tarawa” in January 2012.
“Bill’s career was as an educator, teaching for over 30 years in the Portland area,” Norin told ARRL. “In addition to ham radio, Bill was an excellent tennis player, a docent at a local Frank Lloyd Wright house, and — after retirement — a volunteer at Portland schools.”
Norin went along with Vanderheide on several DXpeditions and operated with him on numerous Field Day weekends. “Bill was the ideal traveling companion. He had wide-ranging interests, was humble, ego-less, yet motivated, disciplined, technically competent, and a first-class CW operator. Bill was, above all, a wonderful friend.”
N7OU was involved in the T27OU, T32OU, 3D2OU, 3D2RO, 5W0OU, ZK1NOU, ZK3OU, ZL7/N7OU, AA7KF, N7OU/HI9, E51NOU, E51PEN, TI5/N7OU, and YJ0OU DXpeditions.
He also was a sorter with the 7th Area ARRL QSL Bureau.